Perinatal Anxiety: How do I know if I’m ready for another baby?

My most recent pregnancy was wretched. I didn’t have much morning sickness, I was just the normal amount of tired, the baby grew beautifully, and I had no medical complications. But I had perinatal anxiety, and that made everything suck, and it still sucks.

Perinatal Anxiety: How do I know if I am ready to have another baby? Observe women's mental health month by sharing this with a pregnant woman you love and care about.

It started in my first trimester with an increase in panic attacks. I normally get them a couple of times a year, but they started happening a few times a week. The doctors kept telling me that I was just anxious about having another baby, but I knew it wasn’t normal pregnancy anxiety.

As the weeks went by, I started having panic attacks so frequently that I was checked into the local hospital. I simply could not catch my breath in between the episodes as they were just compounding on top of one another. In addition to the panic, I was also having very depressing and suicidal thoughts. I knew I had no intention of ever killing myself, but the anxiety made me feel that I might be going crazy and eventually take my own life without my consent. It was such a dark time, you guys.

The hospital stay set me up with a new dosage for my anxiety meds as well as a therapist and a psychiatrist. I visited both of them frequently throughout the rest of my pregnancy, and I found a bit of comfort when my psychiatrist told me she would set me up with a women’s mental health clinic if or when we ever decided to have another baby.

Theodore Patrick was born on February 18, 2015, and almost instantly, my anxiety vanished. While it was reassuring to know that it was pregnancy hormones causing all of this (and not me actually going insane), it left me with the question: Do I ever want to go through this again?

We’ve always wanted a large family, and we still do. After our older kids were born, we knew we would get pregnant as soon as we were able again. But this time was much different. It’s not a given that I will go through the same suffering the next time, but I am at a much higher risk.

And that’s where we are right now. Do we want another child? We do. Am I ready to face that same type of pregnancy if God asks me to? I don’t know.

There are days when I am positively positive that I am ready for another. Theodore was so worth it, after all. But, the majority of days I am too scared to face the same fate again.

Our plan for now is to wait until the good days outnumber the bad days. And we pray. Lord, let us know what you are asking of our family. If you would like us to bring new life into the world, make it abundantly clear, and help us to feel peace in your request. We desire more children but fear the implications on my mental health. Thank you for all of the blessings you have already bestowed on our family. Help us to leave the future in your hands and to suffer well if you so ask it of us. Amen.

Giveaway

God brought good out of my story. He filled me with the Holy Spirit and enabled me to write a book filled with all of the tips and tools I use to manage my panic and anxiety. Check out 30 Days to Calm in my Etsy shop, and enter for a change to win one here.

To Enter: Follow me on Instagram (@callherhappy), and then comment here telling me that you did (or do). I will choose a winner June 6, 2016!

xx

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  1. Erica says

    I follow you on IG! I was dealing with more anxiety than usual toward the end of my last pregnancy, too.

  2. Amanda says

    Thank you for writing this! So raw and real. I too, experienced anxiety with my second pregnancy, though morning like you described. What you described was my life before getting preg with my first, and then the first almost 2 years after she was born. Horrendous and so scary. I surrendered my fears and anxiety to God, whole heartedly, and then made some lifestyle changes that have led me to keep my sanity since then. But I will never forget those dark times, and wouldn’t wish them on my worst enemy! Thanks again for this, it is a reminder to me of who really is in control, God, and to remain thankful to him always for giving me my life back!

  3. says

    My twins were born 2/15/15, and while the pregnancy was beautiful and mostly a breeze, aside from being exhausted the whole time, we are not sure we are ready to have more for other reasons. Some financial, some physical health (have had two c sections now, plus gestational diabetes twice), but I am also questioning how good another baby would be on my mental health (have been experiencing some episodes that may point toward PPD that I have been ignoring, plus other family tragedies compounding it). So, I feel very much like a kindred spirit. Praying nightly that God makes clear our path, too!

  4. Anne says

    Yes, yes, yes. Everything I am going through myself right now :( After a ruptured ectopic followed closely by an HG pregnancy, I need to be both mentally and physically healthy as we go forward, and I have experienced tremendous healing of my anxiety thru therapy and meds. But, I got a vision side effect with the pregnancy safe meds and am now thriving with the help of one that is not safe during pregnancy…. Do I go off of it to try to have another baby? We have a plan in place, and I am focusing on living fully and healthily day by day so we can be ready for that if/when the day comes!! P.S. I follow you :)

  5. Jenny says

    Thank you for sharing your struggle with us. I get HG when pregnant and it takes quite a toll on my physical and mental health. I already follow you on IG, and I’d love to win your book so I can give your tips a try!

  6. says

    I follow you on IG.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences. While my episodes have not been as severe as yours, I still worry about the effect of another pregnancy on my anxiety

  7. Kara says

    I follow you! I am really interested in your book because I have been struggling with anxiety this pregnancy as well and it has made the whole thing significantly harder than with my last baby.

  8. Katie says

    Thanks for sharing this. Mental health issues are so hard to share about. I’ve struggled so much and have very few places in which I can really be open. Glad I happened to see this today ❤️

  9. says

    Thank you for writing this! Our first pregnancy ended in stillbirth at 38 weeks. We’ve had two pregnancies and two live babies since then, but both times its been like being at war. Mentally its so hard and I have so many dr. appointments and anxiety attacks. I have to see a counselor the whole pregnancy and ugh, its all just exhausting. I know my body is physically ready for another baby but my heart and mind and emotions are still a ways off. Praying each month and discerning. Thank you for your story!

  10. Sarah Creagan says

    Thank you for sharing this. I had massive anxiety with my first pregnancy but with my second it was nowhere near as bad, although I still suffered from heightened anxiety. It felt like a walk in the park compared to my first pregnancy! I thought for sure it would be worse; I will be praying that yours is the same if you get pregnant again.

    • says

      Hey Bethany!

      Thanks for following along! You’ve won a free copy of my journal. Please email me with the following info:

      – hard copy or digital?
      – mailing address if hard copy

      xx

  11. Cassandra says

    Thank you! I am pregnant with our fourth and have never experienced serious anxiety until now. My husband is the one with the anxiety disorder and the reason I stumbled upon your site. This post really spoke to me though. I pray. And I pray. I love the way that you describe the daily discipline of doing what God has asked us to do. Suffering with joy. Glorifying. Thank you.